Spotlight on Image Ads: What You Actually Need to Consider

My first thought when I started using AdWords was that I definitely wanted to get on the Display Network. Like many authors I had teaser stock photos and had discovered PicMonkey so I was graphically prepared to increase my visibility on partner sites. When you’re starting out, Search with Display Select is the natural choice. But if you really want to have a truly powerful AdWords search engine marketing campaign, you’ll need to make a serious move to running a Display Only campaign

Let me start off by saying that there is nothing wrong with Search Network with Display Select. I have and do use it when I’m launching new campaigns and want to get a better understanding of how I stand in that search arena because not all campaigns will work well on the Display network. This type of campaign is bread and butter, as far as I’m concerned.

But at some point we need to not just tell readers about our books but to show them. When we put a teaser graphic up as an image ad, there is a whole different set of rules that come into play to tell us how that particular ad is doing.

What’s Your Objective?

Spotlight on Image Ads: What You Actually Need to Consider - AdWords For AuthorsThat’s the first question you’re going to be asked when you set up your Display Only campaign. You really have to give it some thought because what you choose will dictate what you can do and analyze:


Build Awareness

With this option, you want more customers to see your teaser. You’re trying to get them to notice you but not necessarily to click and buy. This type of ad uses CPM (cost per mille) budgeting, which means that you can pay a certain amount per 1000 views, which in Google language is a blink. This means that you have more people seeing your teaser/image but you’re also possibly spending a lot of money, well beyond your regular budget. If you’re looking to spend $3 per day, some CPM rates cost $3 per thousand so you have to know and plan. If you have a bit of money to spend and just want to build up your image and awareness, this is a good option.

Influencer Consideration

If you want to educate readers about your book, what it’s about, why your characters are awesome, this is the option to do that because what you’re trying to do is influence their behavior in you favor. They can explore your site and check out other books. Customers who are into steampunk but aren’t really looking to buy a book right now live here. This objective will help you get in front of those who have never heard of you but are curious enough to check your stuff out.

Drive Action

This is what I find many authors go for (myself included but not always). You want readers to click and buy immediately and you’ll throw money at this objective because you want sales. Customers are actively looking , ready to buy and well you want them to buy from you.

This is where things get complicated. With the drive action marketing objective, you have the ability to really understand your ideal reader but only if you implement the right tools.

There are two mechanisms at play here: Conversion tracking and Remarketing. Both are great but you have to know what you’re doing.

Conversion Tracking

You’re shopping on a site. You browse laptops. You find a couple and put it in your cart but don’t buy yet for whatever reason. You come back to the site two weeks later to see the cart with the items. You decide to buy them. The owner of the site has been tracking you with code called cookies (don’t freak out). They know that you were going to buy that item but didn’t. However, since you came back within 30 days, the cookie let the site know that you were the one who left suddenly and you have some items in your cart. That code can tell you how long the customer took to click on a particular space on your site as well as a lot vital information that can be useful in marketing.

Now this is great if you’re an e-commerce seller but why do authors need conversion tracking?


Ever been to a site, looked around, left it and then go somewhere else, like Facebook and see a sponsored ad for the site you were in a while back? This is NOT a coincidence. It’s called remarketing. You had a reader who was looking through your book page but left. Now, you can market to them when they go to another site or app. They visited your site so they’re warmed to you and by presenting your ads to them repeatedly, they could and probably would buy your book. This type of marketing also has a better chance of success because they are your warm market.

Conversion tracking and Remarketing are only available to advertisers who have their own landing pages on their own sites that have special code from Google that you can add or Google Analytics. If you’re pointing everything to your buy links on sites like Amazon and Kobo, you can’t take advantage of these features, nor do you have any clue of the “what and why” of your readers. This is one of the reasons I tell authors who want to use Display Network to the fullest to have their own book pages on their own sites. It has to be a paid hosting site ( and not to implement conversion tracking.

If your objective is to drive action, then it’s in your best interest to control the parameters of the marketing. If all you want to do is get as many eyes on your book info as you can, you have two other  objectives to consider (you’ll still want to implement conversion tracking anyway but it’s not as urgent).


So, what’s your display objective?


AdWordsForAuthors I will help you grow your visibility. Book Me on #Fiverr


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